BEST STRIP MALL FOR HOMESICK JAPANESE - 2005
Southeast corner of Priest and University drives, Tempe
If home is where the heart is, and the best way to a person's heart is through the stomach, then Japanese natives longing for the Land of the Rising Sun will find no better cure for homesickness -- or hunger -- than a visit to this tiny Tempe strip mall, where food is the main attraction. For chicken teriyaki that's tasty, quick and inexpensive (just the way time-strapped Tokyoites like their eats), Tokyo Stop makes a handy lunch spot. Right next door is Fujiya Market, where customers stock up on imported noodles, mixes, sauces and seasonings, or -- if they're lucky -- grab one of the daily made obento that sell like hotcakes around midday. And just on the other side of Fujiya is Arai Pastry, home to divine desserts like green tea mousse, fruit tarts and éclairs, as well as a small selection of sandwiches. If you love the doughiness of fresh white bread, try the fragrant, thick-cut loaves at Arai. Rice may be Japan's carb of choice, but this comes in a close second.